Archive of ‘homemade’ category

Apple Butter Hand Pies

These intensely buttery and flaky hand pies are like a posh man’s McDonalds apple pie. If you read the recipe ahead and bake them over two days though, they can be enjoyed by anyone. And they darn well should be, because nobody should be subjected to applesauce that tastes like wall glue.
Ingredients:  

Apple Butter 
14-16 Braeburn or Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored & sliced into chunks 
1 cup (275ml) apple juice 
2 tbsp brandy 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 tsp ground ginger 
½ tsp ground nutmeg 
¼ tsp ground cloves 
1 cup (220g) caster sugar 
2 tbsp lemon juice  
Pie Dough 
2 ½ cups (290g) plain flour 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp sugar 
1 cup (230g) cold, cubed butter 
¼ / ½ cup (around 100ml) cup cold water plus extra for brushing  
½ cup (110g) sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon   
Notes: as the apples are cooked down, it doesn’t matter which apples you choose for this recipe, just go for the ones that you believe have the best flavour.


Recipe:  

Day One  
Put the flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form. Before it forms a ball, slowly add the water – add a little extra if it feels dry, pulse until dough forms. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, preferably overnight.    

Make the filling. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir every so often. The apples will start to break down and will eventually reach a saucy consistency. Cook for 45 minutes and mash up unbroken pieces of apple. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 2 hours until the sauce is much darker, thicker and half the amount. Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, will last there for 1 month or up to 6 months in the freezer.   

Day Two  
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out a ¼ inch thick. Take a 4/5 inch cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can, you should have about 16. Place the rounds on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon 1 ½ teaspoons of apple butter in the centre of half the rounds, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch gap between the edges of the pastry. Brush water around the edges of rounds and place another round on top. Gently seal the dough with your fingers and create a cross in the centre using a knife. Repeat with the rest of the rounds. Place back on baking sheet, cover and and refrigerate for 30 minutes.   

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush pies with water and then sprinkle with cinnamon before baking. Bake for 22 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool or eat warm, lasts for 3 months in the freezer or 4 days at room temperature.




Recipe and photography bu Emine Hassan

Easy-peasy Berry Tart

There’s nothing worse than being at a party while the host is slaving away in the kitchen – particularly if you’re the host! That’s why today we have an easy Berry Tart recipe for you, that uses *gasp* shop-bought pastry. We don’t mind a shop-bought pastry, particularly when it makes something so delish! 
The great thing about this tart is that once you have the base (mainly berries) you can add whatever you’ve got in the cupboard. Here we’ve added chocolate (a gooey caramel, nougat & chocolate combo) and coconut. Oh and a sprig of mint to freshen it up, seeing as it’s spring.
Ingredients (makes 4) 
 400g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry 
1½ cups fresh berries
 ¼ cup brown sugar
1tbsp cornflour
⅛ tsp salt 
 1 egg white 
Chosen toppings e.g chocolate, coconut, mint. 
Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. 
In a large bowl mix together the berries, sugar, cornflour and salt. 
 Roll out the pastry to 8mm thick. Cut into rounds and place the berry mixture in the middle. 
 Add your toppings to ‘spice’ things up. 
 Fold the edges in and brush with egg white. 
 Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the berries are bubbling. 
 These tarts are a perfect spring treat and so easy to make. Now you can pop them in the freezer until the day of your party, then defrost and enjoy yourself!
 Words and photography by Britney Hazeldine

Budget Beauty

Lip scrubs are an effective way to treat your pout to some TLC and put that extra coconut oil from the last Budget Beauty post to good use. Giving your lips a gentle scrub every now and again not only sheds the unwanted dead skin, but also smooths out the canvas for lipstick application. So, if you’re a bold lip lover – listen up!

What you’ll need
1tbsp White or Brown Sugar 
1tbsp Honey 
1 Heaped tbsp Coconut Oil
Process
1. Mix the honey and coconut oil together in a bowl. Binding them together creates the perfect conditioner to protect and soften your lips, locking in the moisture as the sugar exfoliates the layers of your lips. 
2. Fold the sugar into the mixture, being careful not to whisk as the consistency will become too runny. We chose to use white sugar for our home made lip scrub, as it’s not a coarse as brown sugar ad we already had it stocked in our pantry! After all, this is budget beauty. 
3. At this point, it’s optional to add in any essential oils or extras that you might want. We chose not too as the coconut oil itself tastes delicious! But, we suggest a couple of drops of peppermint oil works a treat to freshen your lips and breath at the same time. 
4. Gently work into your lips and remove with a damp cloth. Feel the softness! We were amazed with the results, the sugar wasn’t drying on the lips at all as the coconut oil acted almost like a lip balm and coated the skin with moisture. 
5. At this point, you can leave your lips bare, or apply your favourite bold lippy! 
 So there you have it, a Budget Beauty way to achieving an enviable pout! #selfie
Words and photography Emily Smith

Budget Beauty

We’re girls who loves nothing more than a trip to the hairdressers and having some down time in a comfy reclined chair, having our tresses lathered up and head firmly massaged – we’re feeling drowsy just typing this! But, we all know that a salon smooth Barnet sometimes comes with a hefty price tag – Well, not any more! Set up salon in your bathroom with this D.I.Y Coconut Oil Hair Mask. 
What you’ll need
Coconut OilCoconut Oil is an amazing product to have in your pantry, you can use it on your hair, your skin and even in your cooking! So when buying a tub, look at it more as an investment. 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Optional. 
 Step One: Scoop out some coconut oil from the container and massage into dry hair. Apply root to tip if your hair is particularly dry, or just to the ends if you prefer. Coconut oil acts as a conditioner for your much loved locks and it smells delicious too! – think ‘Bounty’. If you’re wanting to add extra virgin olive oil into this mask to create a hot oil treatment then you can mix both the olive oil and coconut oil into a bowl and place in the microwave for a few seconds. Extra virgin olive oil will hydrate your locks and applying the product to your hair warm allows the hair follicles to open and allows the product to get down deep to sort damaged hair. You really will feel like you’re at the salon. 
 Step Two:Wrap your hair into a towel, or use a band to push it away from your face and leave in for a good 20 minutes to do it’s thing. 
Step Three:Hop into the shower and rinse out. Make sure you shampoo your hair TWICE as to not leave any excess product in your hair that might create grease and whack on some conditioner if your hair is crying out for it!
Step Four: Now to style it up. Flip your head upside down and part dry with a hair dryer to achieve volume in your roots. Flip your head up and say ‘Hello’ to your new crowning glory!
Words And Photography by Emily Smith

Homemade granola

Whether you want a snack during the day or a breakfast with yoghurt or milk, homemade granola is great because not only is it easy to do but you can make it exactly to your own taste. Not chewy enough? Add more syrup. Want coconut? Just add coconut! You get the idea. Here are two of our favourite combos… 
Ingredients
Peanut butter, ginger and chocolate granola
100g rolled oats
Large handful peanuts
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp peanut butter
50g cooking chocolate
Apricot, honey and walnut granola
100g rolled oats
Large handful of chopped walnuts
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g chopped apricot
½ freshly chopped apple
Method
-       Heat oven to 180C
-       The same procedure more or less applies to both the sweet and savoury granola
-       First you must mix the oats and nuts together
-       Then mix in the golden syrup/honey, the spice and either the peanut butter or the vanilla extract, depending on which one you’re making
-       Put the granola mix in the oven and bake for 30-35mins, turning the mixture over every 10mins
-       Approx. 10mins before the end add in the dried chopped apricot
-       Take out of the oven and let the granola cool
-       Melt the chocolate and pour over the sweet granola and let it cool
-       Store in an air tight container max. 2 weeks
-       Remember to chop up some fresh apple to have with the savoury one and add yogurt or milk if desired or eat without!
By Melodie Walter

The Perfect Iced Coffee

Iced coffees are the perfect summer cooler. However, we find that often you get them either too strong or too sweet and there’s nothing worse than a really watery one – it’s like drinking a murky stream! 

Anyway, we believe we’ve found the recipe for our iced coffee down to a tee, so we decided to share it with you all! The use of a sundae glass, stripy straws and glitter tape are totally optional…although if you ask us they do make all the difference!

Ingredients
1 ½ tsp  instant coffee granules
1 tsp caster sugar
1tsp boiling water
200ml 
Milk fridge cold
5-6 Ice cubes


Method
- In your glass mix together the coffee granules and caster sugar.

- Add in the boiling water and mix until the granules and sugar are dissolved.

- Pour in all the milk and then the ice cubes. 
- Mix well and leave for 30secs to make sure the drink is completely cool.
Pop in your straw and serve with a yummy little biscuit.

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams

Limoncello and Lime Flat Cakes

Limoncello – a divine Italian liqueur – soaked up in our own special flat cupcakes with lots of cream make for one ridiculously good dessert or a great accompaniment for afternoon tea!


Ingredients
Makes 12
Sponge
100g butter
100g caster sugar
Tiny pinch salt
2 medium eggs
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Limoncello syrup
150ml bottled/fresh lime juice
150g caster sugar
50ml Limoncello liqueur
Icing
80g butter
80g icing sugar
Pink food colouring
Cream (whipped double cream/squirty cream)
Method
-       Note: make sure eggs and butter room temp before starting!
-       Heat oven to 180C
-       Cream together the butter, sugar, salt until pale and fluffy and beat in the eggs slowly (add a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle)
-       Add in the flour or the rest of the flour – depending on whether you used some to prevent the mixture curdling!
-       Divide mixture into well greased non-stick cupcake tin tray and bake for 15-20 mins
-       Make syrup by heating the lime juice and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil; allow this to cool before you add the Limoncello liqueur
-       Once the cakes are out of the oven wait 10mins or so before you brush the syrup on top (be generous!)
-       Allow the liqueur to soak into the sponge while you make the icing: simply cream the icing sugar and butter and food colouring together (we did ours slightly differently but if you want standard butter icing then this is the format)
-       Pipe cream on top and indulge!

By Melodie Walter

Homemade granola

Whether you want a snack during the day or a breakfast with yoghurt or milk, homemade granola is great because not only is it easy to do but you can make it exactly to your own taste. Not chewy enough? Add more syrup. Want coconut? Just add coconut! You get the idea. Here are two of our favourite combos… 

Ingredients
Peanut butter, ginger and chocolate granola
100g rolled oats
Large handful peanuts
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp peanut butter
50g cooking chocolate
Apricot, honey and walnut granola
100g rolled oats
Large handful of chopped walnuts
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g chopped apricot
½ freshly chopped apple
Method
-       Heat oven to 180C
-       The same procedure more or less applies to both the sweet and savoury granola
-       First you must mix the oats and nuts together
-       Then mix in the golden syrup/honey, the spice and either the peanut butter or the vanilla extract, depending on which one you’re making
-       Put the granola mix in the oven and bake for 30-35mins, turning the mixture over every 10mins
-       Approx. 10mins before the end add in the dried chopped apricot
-       Take out of the oven and let the granola cool
-       Melt the chocolate and pour over the sweet granola and let it cool
-       Store in an air tight container max. 2 weeks
-       Remember to chop up some fresh apple to have with the savoury one and add yogurt or milk if desired or eat without!
By Melodie Walter

Bacon and Chestnut Bites

Delicious bacon, apricot and chestnut bites – a great way of using all your Christmas Day leftovers and incredibly moreish too!

Ingredients
7-8 rashers of bacon
1 medium onion
170g cooked chestnuts (chopped) or use tinned or puréed chestnuts
1 tsp sage (dry or fresh)
3 dried apricots (chopped)
60g oatmeal or fine breadcrumbs
1 egg (beaten)
Cranberry sauce

Method
* Heat oven to 200C
* Melt butter in pan and fry onions and bacon until soft
* Transfer to bowl
* Mix in sage, oatmeal/breadcrumbs, seasoning, apricots and chestnuts
* Bind with beaten egg to give a fairly moist consistency
* Form mixture into desired shapes, brush with any leftover egg and crisp breadcrumbs (if you have any)
* Bake in the oven for approx. 15 mins or until crisp and golden brown
* Dip in cranberry sauce – yum!
By Melodie Walter

Spring Tart

This time of the year we decide that we no longer crave our comforting hot-pots and warming soups, and find that perhaps a light-bite would better suit. We discovered a splendid blend of mozzarella, apple, and gammon, on pastry provide just the perfect mix to add to our spring menu. 
This recipe is so quick and easy, and fab for impressing friends for lunch! 
 Here’s how to make spring savoury tart… 
 Recipe 
250g puff pastry (pre-made slab) 
1 apple (thinly sliced) 
1 ball mozzarella (thinly sliced) 
1 steak gammon (cut into cubes) 
2 tsp mixed herbs (Sage and Thyme)
 Olive oil (drizzled) 
 Method 
 – Heat oven 200C 
- Roll out pastry to desired shape (we used a 32cmx20cm tray to cut round)
- Lay sliced apple onto pastry 
- Make another layer by putting the mozzarella on top of the slices of apple 
- Evenly scatter cubed gammon on top of the mozzarella slices (if you don’t fancy using gammon, you could always use slices of tomato and courgettes for a veggie option) 
- Sprinkle the herbs and drizzle olive oil over the tart 
- Bake in the oven for 20 mins Serve warm or cold with salad.
By Melodie Walter

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